Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Cousin jailed over Doherty brawl

Paddy Doherty had part of his ear bitten off during a fight with his cousin Johnny Joyce, Manchester Crown Court heard

A feuding rival of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding star Paddy Doherty has been jailed for 15 months after he bit off part of his ear in a grudge fight.

His cousin Johnny Joyce, 21, challenged Doherty, 52, to a brawl when he spotted him jogging in Ancoats, Manchester, last June. A fight ensued which Doherty got the worse of and culminated with Joyce sinking his teeth into the Celebrity Big Brother winner's left ear and biting off the top part of it.

Insults were spat at Doherty by Joyce's brother, Douglas, 23, who filmed the tussle on his mobile phone.

The footage played in court showed the brawl spilling from the car park outside a PC World store and into the busy main road, with cars swerving around the pair. Doherty spent five days in Manchester Royal Infirmary and underwent successful reconstructive surgery on his ear after the fracas.

Doherty was sentenced to 51 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, earlier this month at Manchester Crown Court, while Johnny Joyce, from Openshaw, was imprisoned at the same court on Wednesday.

Both had pleaded guilty to affray at earlier hearings. Their sentencings were kept apart after the court heard of the "bad blood" between the two families from the travelling community.

Former bare knuckle boxer Doherty had brought disapproval in the community after he complained to police in August 2010 that Joyce had attacked him in an earlier incident.

Johnny Joyce was eventually acquitted of assault but Doherty's appearance in court as a prosecution witness widened the rift.

Last September, Doherty and his sons received a police warning that their lives could be in danger. He has since moved from Salford and now lives at a caravan park in Queensferry, North Wales.

Doherty continued to seek to avoid conflict with the Joyces and had no intention of contacting them, the court heard earlier this month. Douglas Joyce, also from Openshaw, was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work after admitting a public order offence.

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